A fairly common scenario that one can see in many homes is of young children pestering their parents for a pet, and their parents refusing due to the fear of contracting illnesses and the responsibility that comes with owning a pet. But getting a pet can actually be a good idea due to the various benefits this holds for the children.
Pets That Are Not Suitable For Kids
Although having a pet is beneficial for children, some members of the animal kingdom may not be suitable, usually because the child is too immature to care for the animal in the right way. Until the child has some experience with caring for pets, animals such as sugar gliders, ferrets, prairie dogs, large birds, and big reptiles should be kept away.
Why Pets are Good for Kids
Being with pets, kids learn that animals feel pain, and want comfort and love just like humans. These lessons will help them in the future when they deal with other humans. And as they take care of their pets, children learn how to be calm, gentle, and caring, eventually growing up to be open and compassionate adults.
Research has shown that children who grow up with pets tend to have stronger immune systems and are unlikely to get allergies. They are also able to fend off infections of cold, flu, blood pressure, heart disease, and stress much better than kids without pets. Also, pets create a more active life, and thereby, a healthier life for the kids. This helps in better attendance and performance at school.
Once you have a pet, your kid can always count on having a friend and companion who will love and support them unconditionally. This makes them more self-confident and also helps in developing an active lifestyle. This is especially important for only kids who might feel lonely without any friends or siblings to bond with.
Tasks like feeding and walking the dog or cleaning the litter, teaches children about responsibility and also instills a sense of being a grown up. Research shows that training of pets also instills discipline in kids. Appreciation for such achievements is sure to encourage them, and this will help them in the future.
Pets can help with the educational development of children. This is especially true with regards to a child’s reading skills. It is because while kids might be reluctant to read aloud in a formal setting, like a school, they are more confident to read out to animals, as the fear of being judged is not present. For this reason, pets (especially dogs) are used as therapy for developmentally challenged children.
Animals are remarkably sensitive to human emotions, and provide good therapy when one is feeling down. Also, having a pet will help kids learn about the circle of life and death. Having to deal with the death of a pet will help them to deal with tougher challenges further in their lives.
As pets become a big part of a family’s life, they also help in creating stronger bonds as different members of the family work together to groom, feed, and walk the pet, allowing people to enjoy each others company and communicate more – a very good environment for a growing child.
Pets, especially cats and dogs are usually very patient with children. They stoically bear all sorts of things like costumes and roughhousing as long as it doesn’t hurt them. They are a sounding board for a kids play, limited only by their imagination. It helps a kid in being fearless with change and experimentation.
As children care for pets, they can grasp what it means to stay committed and the consequences of not doing so. Failure to give proper care or giving up on the pets halfway can lead to dead fish, angry cats and dogs, and bad smells. Proper care leads to flourishing pets and good happy relationships with the animals. This is a very important tool for children to grasp as early as possible, so pets can help here.